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Lock on Data

New NRF IT Security Council Fighting Data Theft

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Retailers value the relationships they cultivate with customers and understand that these relationships are predicated in large part on the assurance that merchants will be vigilant stewards of the information shared with them.

Shortly before NRF’s BIG Show in January, word started trickling out about a series of data breaches at large retail chains. These thefts proved to be very large and very expensive for card issuers and retailers alike. By its very nature, the retail industry is a lucrative target for data theft, and it soon became clear that retailers needed a plan to protect themselves and customers from cyber threats.

As the NRF CIO Council met during the BIG Show, technology leaders and experts from many of the nation’s most innovative retailers discussed what they needed to do to get ahead of the situation. They quickly realized that the industry was not alone in the cyber war against very sophisticated and organized criminals. And while IT is the first line of defense for data attacks, CEOs and company boards of directors realized an effective risk management strategy for protecting payment data and other sensitive customer, employee and company information would require input from senior executives across an organization.

NRF and the CIO Council quickly organized a community of retail IT experts. Formed under the leadership of Books-A-Million CIO Cy Fenton, the new NRF IT Security Council is an invitation-only committee made up of retailing’s leading technology security experts. With more than 130 members, the council provides a forum for networking, collaboration and exchange of information, and is tasked with developing industry best practices and key components of an effective security and risk management framework. It also assists NRF as a voice on Capitol Hill to educate lawmakers on what is needed to combat data theft and the resulting fraud that occurs.



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